Sunday, July 29, 2007

"Summer Lovin', Had Me A Bla-ast"

You know the rest, "Summer Lovin' Happened So Fa-ast!". Ok, so the rest of the song doesn't apply, but what a great and FAST Summer we have had. I know that it isn't quite over yet, but with August just a few days away and school starting right around the corner, it seems already gone. I realized just how busy our Summer has been when I started downloading the memory card from my camera today following our VACATION to the beach last week. Here is a recap of some of the highlights of our great Summer : )

AWANAs Graduation and End of Year Awards Ceremony. Despite the photo, Cooper was happy to be there-just not in the photo.

Growing our "Easter" Sunflowers that the kids recv'd in their baskets this year at Easter. Up until this last week when nobody was around to water them, they looked beautiful on my front porch.

First Smiles

Sleeping through the night in our OWN beds : )

The start of weekly,one-on-one, date nights with the children.

Learned to can fresh fruits and veggies. the kids shucked 65 ears of corn with my Mom and squealed with delight whenever a caterpillar was found in their corn!!

Had some great downtime on the couch with either a movie or a good book.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Nameless LIttle Girl that BROKE MY HEART.

I was busy running around yesterday completing errands before my Mom and Grandmother arrived last night. In all the hustle on the way home, I spotted a girl on the sidewalk of a very busy and main road of our town. She struck me for some reason. She was dressed VERY provocatively, in a short and tight miniskirt and tube top, and her hair was done up in a very older way. However, she couldn't have been older than 16-18. Her eyes were too, too young. She was in tall heals that she had obviously not worn long enough to completely master with any grace and my heart just broke for her. Her body language was as if she was listening at every sound she passed, as if every sound was a cat-call directed to her that she was compelled to respond to.

At the point of which I passed her, she had apparently gotten confirmation that someone was speaking to her in the parking lot she was passing and she was trying to make her way through a hedge to meet the person. I couldn't help but to think that she was pr*stituting herself :sad: :unsure: :sad: Even though it wasn't a place that one would think they would come across this, I couldn't shake the thought that she was.

I pulled over and prayed for the Lord to give me wisdom, because My Mama's heart wanted to drive over and yank her out of the car and take her home with me. I immediately knew that, with my five babies in the car, I could not put them in the sort of danger that may come from that act at that moment, so I prayed and prayed for the Lord to protect her with a hedge of thorns that no amount of evil could break through. She is still heavy on my heart this morning and I thought about her all night long.

Please lift up this nameless little girl with me. I don't know her or where she comes from, but if she was doing what I feel so strongly in my heart she was, I know her heart must have been broken somewhere deep inside. Please pray that she find her way to our Daddy in Heaven to fill the hole in her heart and that she will not stay victim to whatever aspect of her life (be it situation or person) that makes her do this. Please pray that she will find love & peace in the arms of our Abba Father.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Conviction vs. Desire

I am reading a book now called, When You Rise Up: A Covenental Approach to Homeschooling by R.C. Sproul, Jr. It is a good book that is challenging me to realize my motives for homeschooling. In it, it talks about deciding on your family's goal for education and it puts forth some key ideas in deciding what that is.
Sproul is very dedicated and convicted in his choices for his family and he is an advocate to the extent that he feels homeschooling is the ONLY choice there is for any Christian family.
Personally, this is where I struggle. Is homeschooling my children the ONLY choice out there in order to achieve the goals that we seek to attain for our children? Is this a desire I feel to homeschool or a true conviction? Is it possible for me to selfishly keep them home when they would prosper at a good Christian school?
To answer that last question, I don't think that I am damaging them by keeping them home at all, but maybe they aren't getting everything the could be getting (academically speaking) from me. I am a busy mama. I have lots going on during the day and I don't know HOW IN THE WORLD I am going to maintain education here at home when Annagail starts walking. It is hard enough to just try and plan! Add on top of that a house that need to be cleaned, laundry that must be washed, meals that must be prepared and a nursing schedule to feed that baby adequately and I my plate is overflowing.
I am starting to think of it like I do bfeeding. (stay with me here) I totally, totally, totally believe that the benefits of bfeeding far outweigh the alternatives. I wish that everyone would give it an honest attempt for the sake of their child. However, I do believe that there are times when it doesn't work for whatever reason; be it physical, emotional, situational, whatever. It just doesn't. I have been blessed beyond measure to have had it work for all five of my little ones so far, but some of my children were only bfed through lots of work and concentration on my part. For my oldest, I had to a sort of hybrid form of feeding. Some women I know, tried and tried and couldn't get it to all come together. For them they chose an alternative. It was best choice for them to maintain health and sanity for themselves AND their child and I don't blame them a bit or find any fault with their choice. The good Lord provided a suitable alternative. The children thrived and developed as normal and all is well in their world.
Now to relate it to homeschooling: I do feel it is the ideal situation for a child. To be at home with a parent and to be learning alongside siblings is something that I think is definitely better than the school environment as we know it. But is it something that everyone should have this inherent ability to do as a parent? Is it something that I should be able to muster up inside me and be able to do in a way that sustains my children at the level they need to excel spiritually and academically? Or at some point do I need to investigate alternative forms to do this that still meet the moral standard by which we live? This is where I am. I am trying to sort this out.
Obviously, if Nathan and I feel called, convicted, to homeschool then the choice is made. I must obey and I am certain that my desire and the ability will come. I just don't know if it is conviction or desire at this point. it isn't as easy as it sounds. I have researched private Christian schools and would probably jump right into one or two of them that I have looked into if it weren't for the exorbitant cost. We are talking 13K for three of our children to attend!!! Per Year!!!!
I guess that where there is a will there is a way. I am just searching for God's will and where it lies for our family. If it lies in homeschooling, then I must find my way through this in obedience and I am certain the desire will follow. If God's will is for them to be taught in a private christian school, then there is a way to find there too.
So for now I will be praying and searching for these answers while I plan for our next year. This is one of those areas in Christian parenting that baffles me. I wish there was a verse that said, "Homeschooling is the only approved method." or "Thou shall not lose any sleep over sending your child to school." It would certainly make things easier wouldn't it?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

I spy with my little eye....


Tonight after dinner, we decided to play "I spy". It started out as something to do while the table was being cleared, but turned into a full-out "I spy" tournament between our four oldest and us; complete with specific rules and all! After an hour or so of playing, we were all howling with laughter and having such a great time around the table together. Even Ella, who I really need to do some work with where her colors are concerned : ), had a great time. She is my class clown and kept us all laughing when it came time for her to guess the object each round. She is a hoot.

As a matter of fact, this whole weekend was pretty great. Not the spectacular event-type of great, but more the it-is-SO-good-to-have-sweet-children-who-are-so-laid-back-and-fun-to-be-around-type of great.

Today was ...just family time. After we ate a nice home-cooked, Sunday lunch and the kids were tucked in for naps with full bellies, I sat on the porch and read my book while Nathan worked in the yard. I didn't want to do yard work (this time), but I just wanted to be with him while he did it : ) Then tonight it was so much fun to hear the kids giggle so much and to see them get tickled at Nathan's silly jokes. It made my heart warm. Even Annagail got on board during our no-fuss leftover dinner (yes, I ate leftovers!!!!). She was squealing and cooing up a storm.

This week was long for us, so this nice weekend was a much-welcomed blessing. No muss, no fuss, just good `ole us! Hey! I think that may make it to a t-shirt someday soon : )